The Solar Panel Toxic Waste Problem

CFACT, 9-15-2019, Duggan Flanakin, Director of Policy Research at the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and former Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Key Takeaways:

  • The country’s solar power industry waste is “a ticking time bomb”
  • The heavily subsidized solar industry is creating millions of pounds of polluted sludge and contaminated water shipped to landfills
  • Quoted average solar panel life span is 20 years, but high temperatures accelerate the aging process
  • Snow, dust and other natural events (wind, water, temperature) can cause material fatigue on the surface and in the internal electric circuits
  • Vast increase in Nitrogen Trifluoride (NF3) used in solar panels has increased 1,057% over the past 25 years
  • NF3 is reported to be 17,200 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas
  • In Japan, recycling solar waste produced through 2020 will take about 19 years at 10,000 tons a year, yet expected solar growth up to 800.000 tons a year, 80 times the amount
  • The simple truths is that it is past time for real accounting of the overall costs to the public and to the environment of a massive increase in the use of solar panels compared, for example, increased reliance on non-intermittent technologies like nuclear, geothermal and natural gas.